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Westfield, New Jersey
—  Town  —
Map of Westfield in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Westfield, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°39′06″N 74°20′38″W / 40.65167°N 74.34389°W / 40.65167; -74.34389
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Union
Formed January 27, 1794
Incorporated February 21, 1798
 - Type Special Charter
 - Mayor Andrew Skibitsky
 - Total 6.7 sq mi (17.5 km2)
 - Land 6.7 sq mi (17.4 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation [1] 118 ft (36 m)
Population (2006)[2]
 - Total 29,944
 Density 4,403.1/sq mi (1,700.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07090-07091
Area code(s) 908
FIPS code 34-79040[3][4]
GNIS feature ID 0885436[5]

Westfield is a town in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the town population was 29,644.

The old village area, now the downtown district, was settled in 1720 as part of the Elizabethtown Tract.

Westfield was originally formed as a township on January 27, 1794, from portions of Elizabeth Township, while the area was still part of Essex County, and was incorporated as a one of New Jersey's first 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. It became part of the newly-formed Union County on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township have been taken to form Rahway Township (February 27, 1804), Plainfield Township (April 5, 1847), Cranford Township (March 14, 1871), Fanwood Township (March 6, 1878, now known as Scotch Plains), Mountainside (September 25, 1895) and Hillside (April 3, 1913). The Town of Westfield was incorporated on March 4, 1903, replacing Westfield Township.



Westfield is located at 40°39′0″N 74°20′35″W / 40.65°N 74.34306°W / 40.65; -74.34306 (40.649869, -74.343183).[6] Westfield's ZIP Code is 07090.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.8 square miles (17.5 km²), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.30%) is water.

Six municipalities border the town of Westfield: Mountainside to the north, Springfield Township to the northeast, Garwood and Cranford to the east, Clark to the southeast and Scotch Plains to the west and southwest.


The Westfield Police Department (WPD) has been a vital part of the town's culture since its foundation and in more recent years has been focusing its attention on aggressively monitoring the downtown parking meters. In 2007 for example, the WPD issued 27,444 parking tickets of which 16,306 were for overtime parking at meters or in pay station lots.[7] As of 2008, the chief of police is John Parizeau. Each division of the WPD operates different vehicles. As of October, 2009, they are as follows:

  • Patrol Division: Ford Crown Victorias with low-profile LED and halogen lightbars and a Ford Expedition
  • Traffic Safety Bureau: Ford Crown Victoria, Chevy Suburban and Ford F-150
  • Parking Enforcement: Ford Crown Victorias and a Jeep Cherokee.
  • Emergency Services Unit: Ford E-150, Ford Expedition,and a trailer.
  • Zombie Invasion Unit: 1989 Ford Taurus LX
  • Other: 2 BMW motorcycles donated by JMK BMW and a Segway patrol that operates in the Central Business District (CBD).
  • Illegal Immigrant Control: Plymouth Prowler


The Westfield Fire Department was formed in 1875 following a fire that destroyed a city block on East Broad St.. As of 1/1/2009 the WFD is a combination department with 39 paid/career firefighters and 15 volunteer firefighters. There are 4 platoons of 9 (1 Captain, 2 Lieutenants, and 6 Firefighters) working a 24/72 hour work schedule out of 2 fire stations. Administrative members include the Chief of Department, the Deputy Chief of Operations, and the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention. As of 2009, the Chief of Department is Daniel J. Kelly.

Fire Headquarters, located at 405 North Ave. W., is manned 24 hours a day by 1 Captain (Platoon Commander), 1 Lieutenant, and 4 Firefighters. These personnel man an Engine Company, first due on the north side of town, and the Ladder Company. A reserve Engine Company and a Utility Pick-Up are also housed at Fire Headquarters. The office of the Chief of Department and the Deputy Chief of Operations are located here as well. All requests for Mutual Aid are filled out by Fire Headquarters companies due to more manpower.

Station 2, located at 1029 Central Ave., is manned 24 hours a day by 1 Lieutenant and 2 Firefighters. These personnel man an Engine Company, first due on the south side of town. A reserve Engine Company, a Utility Pick-Up, and a spare SUV are also housed at Station 2. The Fire Prevention Bureau is located at Station 2 and houses the office of the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention.

The WFD in 2009 operates a fleet of 4 E-One Engines (2 x 2,000 GPM & 2 x 1,500 GPM) and 1 E-One 110' Ladder with 2 support pick-ups, 1 support SUV, and 3 staff 4x4 vehicles. The paint scheme for the older apparatus (Engine 4 and Truck 1) are yellow, with the newer apparatus (Engine 2,3,5) being red bodies with white cabs. The support vehicles, a Ford Pick-Up (Utility 7), a Chevy Pick-Up (Utility 8), and a Jeep Cherokee (Car 9) are red with white striping and the remaining staff vehicles, for Chief Officers, are unmarked Dodge Durangos (Car 1,11,12)

The WFD responds annually to approximately 2,000 calls for service. The WFD serves as a back-up EMS agency for the town if the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad is not readily available. All members are CPR-Defib certified with 27 members currently New Jersey certified EMT's with the remaining members trained to the first responder level. Both stations are always manned with FF/EMT's 24 hours a day.

The WFD is also a partner in the Union County Fire Mutual Aid agreement, responding to numerous requests for aid to any of the other 20 municipalities in Union County.

The career firefighters (excluding Chief Officers) are members of The New Jersey Firefighter's Mutual Benevolent Association Local # 30 (NJ FMBA).


Downtown Westfield, NJ. July 21, 2005

Westfield's downtown is highly successful, featuring many local and national stores, such as Lord and Taylor and several landmarks that were shown and used in the NBC network television show Ed such as the Rialto Theater. There are about 50 restaurants and casual dining establishments throughout town. Downtown is located mostly north of the Westfield train station. The downtown area has a wonderful mix of independent stores and boutiques as well as national stores, and provides a pleasant shopping environment. Over one-third of the retailers and restaurants have existed for 25 years or more.

Downtown Westfield, with over 200 retail establishments and 400 commercial enterprises, is a regional destination in New Jersey. The Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC) manages the downtown area's growth and enhancement. The DWC is a National Main Street program associated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is funded by a Special Improvement District assessment on downtown properties and operates as the district's management agency. The DWC sponsors marketing efforts and promotions, special event planning, urban design and building improvement projects. The DWC works closely with the town government and volunteer groups to improve the downtown area. In 2004, Westfield won the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust. Downtown Westfield also attracts citizens from other communities in Union County such as Scotch Plains, NJ, Plainfield, NJ, Cranford, NJ, and Clark, NJ


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 29,644 people, 10,622 households, and 8,178 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,403.1 people per square mile (1,700.7/km²). There were 10,819 housing units at an average density of 1,607.0/sq mi (620.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.98% White, 3.88% African American, 0.09% Native American, 4.08% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.82% of the population.

There were 10,622 households out of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.0% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.20.

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1930 15,801
1940 18,458 16.8%
1950 21,243 15.1%
1960 31,447 48.0%
1970 33,720 7.2%
1980 30,447 −9.7%
1990 28,870 −5.2%
2000 29,644 2.7%
Est. 2006 29,944 [2] 1.0%
Population 1930 - 1990.[8]

In the town the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

According to a 2007 estimate[9], the median income for a household in the town was $120,978, and the median income for a family was $146,891. Males had a median income of $82,420 versus $45,305 for females. The per capita income for the town was $47,187. About 1.7% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.


Local government

Westfield is governed under a Special Charter granted by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature. The government consists of a Mayor and an eight-member Town Council, with all positions filled in partisan elections. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Town Council consists of eight members, with two members elected from each of four wards. Town Council members are elected to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with one seat in each ward coming up for election every other year.[10] The Town Council holds weekly meetings open to the public where it discusses legislation under consideration.

As of 2010, members of the Town Council are:[11]

  • Mayor - Andrew Skibitsky (R)
  • 1st Ward - Frank Arena (R) and Sam Della Fera (R)
  • 2nd Ward - JoAnn Neylan (R) and Vicki Kimmins (R)
  • 3rd Ward - Mark Ciarrocca (R) and David Haas (D)
  • 4th Ward - James Foerst (R) and Keith Loughlin (R)

In the 2009 Mayoral and Town Council elections, incumbent Mayor Andrew Skibitsky, incumbent 2nd Ward Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins and incumbent 3rd Ward Councilman David Haas were victorious. In the 1st Ward, Councilman Sam Della Fera was victorious over Democrat Janice Siegal. In the 4th Ward, Councilman Keith Loughlin unseated incumbent Democrat Tom Bigosinski.[12]

The GOP will hold a 8-1 majority in the Town Council (including Mayor Skibitsky) through 2011 when four Council seats will be contested.

Westfield politics are dominated by a two-party system in which the Republican Party and the Democratic Party compete for elected offices. As of 2009, a majority of registered voters in the town are registered to the Democratic party. However, Westfield politics have been dominated by the GOP, and in 2003 Republicans took complete control of the Town Council. In the 2004 Presidential election, a majority of Westfield voters voted for Democrat John Kerry over Republican George W. Bush, who made a visit to the town in 2005 to discuss his plan for Social Security, and in the 2005 Gubernatorial election, a majority of Westfield voters voted for Democrat Jon Corzine over Republican Doug Forrester. The Westfield Republican Committee is chaired by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and the Westfield Democratic Committee is chaired by Ken Rotter.

Federal, state and county representation

Westfield is in the Seventh Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 21st Legislative District.[13]

New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District, covering portions of Hunterdon County, Middlesex County, Somerset County and Union County, is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey is represented in the Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

For the 2010-2011 Legislative Session, the 21st District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the Senate by Thomas Kean, Jr. (R, Westfield) and in the General Assembly by Jon Bramnick (R, Westfield) and Nancy Munoz (R, Summit).[14] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[15] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[16]

Union County is governed by a nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, elected at-large to three-year terms on a staggered basis. Union County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella (Roselle Park), Freeholder Vice Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan (Elizabeth), Angel G. Estrada (Elizabeth), Chester Holmes (Rahway), Bette Jane Kowalski (Cranford), Rick Proctor (Rahway), Deborah P. Scanlon (Union), Rayland Van Blake (Plainfield), and Nancy Ward (Linden).[17]


Westfield consists of two sides of the town, the North Side and the South Side. The following are distinct neighborhoods in the town.

  • The Gardens
  • Wychwood
  • Brightwood
  • Indian Forest
  • Stoneleigh Park
  • Downtown
  • Manor Park


Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade attend the Westfield Public Schools. The district has six K - 5 elementary schools and two grade 6 - 8 middle schools, which are divided by a "North Side / South Side" boundary. The schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[18]) are as follows:

The public schools on the north side consist of Franklin Elementary School with 592 students, Washington Elementary School with 348 students, Wilson Elementary School with 582 students and Theodore Roosevelt Intermediate School [2] with 721 students.

Schools on the south side are Jefferson Elementary School with 491 students, McKinley Elementary School with 334 students, Tamaques Elementary School with 468 students and Thomas Alva Edison Intermediate School with 719 students. Thomas Alva Edison Intermediate School is noted for its excellence in academics, activities, and the arts.

Students on each side of town are divided amongst the three elementary schools on their side, go to a common intermediate school, and then join the other side of town in Westfield High School, which has 1,769 students in grades 9 - 12. The sides of town are divided into North side and South side, and they are divided by the train track for the New Jersey Transit Raritan Line that runs directly through town.

Starting in the 2008/2009 school year, all kindergarten classes in the school district were centered at Lincoln School on the south side of town.

There is also a Middle States accredited Catholic school, Holy Trinity Interparochial School, run by the three parishes of Holy Trinity in Westfield, St. Helen's in Westfield and Our Lady of Lourdes in Mountainside, which offers education from Pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade.

Public transportation

New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line provides rail service from the Westfield train station to Newark Penn Station in Newark with connecting service to Penn Station New York. Westfield's position and schedule on the Raritan Valley line make it highly desirable for commuters, as several times in the morning and evening rush hours a non-stop service is operated to/from the Newark transfer station. On these non-stop services, the one-way journey time to/from New York Penn Station is 50 minutes, or 20 minutes to/from Newark Penn Station [3]. New Jersey Transit's 113 route provides bus service to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal seven days per week from the town center, taking approximately 1 hour to NYC. In addition, express service to New York City is available along Route 22 on the northern edge of the town, taking approximately 45 minutes. Olympia Trails also offers weekday bus service to New York City. New Jersey Transit's 59 route provides local bus service, operating between Plainfield and Newark.

Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away, most conveniently reached via Route 22, and Linden Airport, a general aviation facility is in nearby Linden, New Jersey. Newark Liberty International Airport is also easily accessible via New Jersey Transit train.


Residential telephone service is handled by Verizon Communications [4]. Westfield cable television is supplied by Comcast [5], which also delivers the Westfield Community Channel (ch 36), News 12 New Jersey (ch 62) and Scotch Plains Local Access Channel (ch 34). Verizon's Fiber Optic Service (FiOS) is also offered in Westfield, which gives the option of digital cable, high-speed internet and telephone service. Power is supplied through the Public Service Electric and Gas Company. Gas is supplied via Elizabethtown Gas and water by American Water of NJ. Recycling is collected curbside by the Department of Public Works on a biweekly basis, while trash is collected by private haulers.


Westfield was served by two weekly newspapers The Westfield Leader, The Record-Press, until The Record-Press ended publication in 2008, leaving the town with only The Westfield Leader. It is one of the communities served by the daily newspaper The Courier News (based in Bridgewater N.J.) and The Star Ledger based in Newark, New Jersey. The Westfield Patch is an online newsource dedicated strictly to local Westfield news. It is updated around the clock by editor John Celock and a staff of volunteer contributors.

Westfield Community Television (WCT)

The local community access channel 36 operates out of the Municipal Building on Broad Street in Westfield on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and half of every Sunday. WCT provides limited community related programming, coverage of town council meetings, and operates the WCT Bulletin Board. WCT shares time on channel 36 with Blue Devils Television which originates from Westfield High School and produces nearly 200 original productions each academic year.[19]

Popular culture

Notable residents

Current and former notable residents of Westfield include

Musical groups based in Westfield


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Town of Westfield, Geographic Names Information System, accessed January 4, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Census data for Westfield town, United States Census Bureau, accessed March 1, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ The Westfield Leader, Thursday, May 15th, 2008, page 4
  8. ^ New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed March 1, 2007.
  9. ^
  10. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 94.
  11. ^ Town Officials, Town of Westfield. Accessed January 14, 2010.
  12. ^ Election Coverage 2009.
  13. ^ 2008 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, p. 66, New Jersey League of Women Voters. Accessed September 30, 2009.
  14. ^ "Legislative Roster: 2010-2011 Session". New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  15. ^ "About the Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  16. ^ "About the Lieutenant Governor". New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  17. ^ Board of Chosen Freeholders, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed February 20, 2008.
  18. ^ Data for the Westfield Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 7, 2008.
  19. ^ What is Westfield High School Television?, Westfield, New Jersey. Accessed May 17, 2007.
  20. ^ Maslin, Janet. In Search of the Dark Muse of a Master of the Macabre: Book Review of Charles Addams: A Cartoonist’s Life, The New York Times, October 26, 2006. Accessed March 7, 2008.
  21. ^ Dr. Virginia Apgar's test for babies, accessed November 30, 2006. Accessed March 7, 2008.
  22. ^ Litsky, Frank. "SPORTS WORLD SPECIALS: FOOTBALL; Happy Packer", The New York Times, March 12, 1990. Accessed June 30, 2008. "From 1981 through 1988, Ard was a starting guard for the Giants. He was a New Jerseyan through and through. He was raised in Watchung, he lives in Westfield and in the off season he is a stockbroker in Westfield."
  23. ^ Sports of The Times; Brown Obeys Phil Simms's Golden Rule, The New York Times, September 5, 1994. "AS a boy growing up in nearby Westfield, N.J., Dave Brown attended only one Giants game at Giants Stadium."
  24. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Robert N. Buck Dies at 93; Was Record-Setting Aviator", The New York Times, May 20, 2007. Accessed June 17, 2007. "Robert Nietzel Buck was born on Jan. 29, 1914, in Elizabethport, N.J., and reared in Westfield, N.J."
  25. ^ Chiefs Sign P Steve Cheek, Kansas City Chiefs press release dated October 13, 2004. Accessed March 6, 2008.
  26. ^ Inside the Beltway, accessed December 20, 2006. "...Michael Chertoff of Westfield was appointed U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security..."
  27. ^ [1] "Edward Einhorn, who grew up in Westfield..."
  28. ^ a b Mule Bone: Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston's Dream Deferred of an African-American Theatre of the Black Word., African American Review, March 22, 2001. Accessed March 7, 2008. "In February 1930, Hurston headed north, settling in Westfield, New Jersey. Godmother Mason (Mrs. Rufus Osgood Mason, their white protector) had selected Westfield, safely removed from the distractions of New York City, as a suitable place for both Hurston and Hughes to work."
  29. ^ "AUTHOR TO LEAVE JAPAN.; J.L. Hughes Will Depart After Questioning as to Communism.", The New York Times, July 25, 1933.
  30. ^ Horner, Shirley. "About Books", The New York Times, February 16, 1986. Accessed March 7, 2008. "Dr. Lewis said that his research points out that, thanks to Mrs. Mason's generosity, Hughes lived in the early 30's in a one-family house in Westfield, where his neighbor was another of Harlem's luminaries, Zora Neale Hurston."
  31. ^ Chen, David W. "For Menendez and Kean, a Fierce First Debate", The New York Times, June 26, 2006. Accessed March 7, 2008. "Then, a few minutes later, the most dramatic exchange occurred when Mr. Kean sought to contrast his own background and record in Westfield, a wealthy suburb, with Mr. Menendez's in Hudson County."
  32. ^ Kean prepares to launch '06 U.S. Senate bid,, March 9, 2005.
  33. ^ Kevin Kelly -- Chronology. Accessed March 8, 2008. "Graduated from Westfield High School, Westfield NJ."
  34. ^ Marilyn Lange, Playboy. Accessed November 18, 2007.
  35. ^ to the Margaret Carver Leighton Papers, Washington State University. Accessed November 21, 2007.
  36. ^ Massacre, Court TV Crime Library, accessed December 30, 2006.
  37. ^ Smith, Kenneth. " Profound to profane, rock stars say the darndest things", University Wire, June 25, 2002. Accessed July 28, 2007. "I just realized that I said, 'Can I tell you something off the record?' and now I feel like such a d--k," Richare Leigh (1943 - 2007) author of New York Times best seller of Holy Blood Holy Grail and other non fiction and fiction Luerssen said in a phone interview (his first time at the receiving end) from his home in Westfield, N.J.
  38. ^ "KIDSDAY CELEBRITY SPOTLIGHT ANDREW MCCARTHY", Newsday, July 31, 1988. "With his successes in 'St. Elmo's Fire,' 'Pretty in Pink' and last year's hit, 'Mannequin,' handsome 25-year-old Andrew McCarthy is well on his way to becoming a major star. He was born in Westfield, N.J., on Nov. 29, 1962."
  39. ^ Randolph Perkins biography, United States Congress. Accessed July 8, 2007.
  40. ^ #13 James Perry -
  41. ^ Legacy Recordings - Paul Robeson, accessed April 24, 2007. "Three years later, the Robeson family moved to Westfield, New Jersey."
  42. ^ Bret's Bio, accessed April 24, 2007. "As the youngest of nine-children growing up in Woodbridge and Westfield, NJ, Bret learned the importance of hard-work and honesty."
  43. ^ From bar mitzva boy to Wedding Singer: A composer gets his big Broadway break, New Jersey Jewish News by Elaine Durbach, July 6, 2006.
  44. ^ The Rutgers Olympic Sports Hall of Fame: Class of 1994, accessed January 6, 2007. "In his three-year career from 1961-63, the Westfield, NJ native batted .390, which still ranks third in Rutgers baseball annals."
  45. ^ Roy Vagelos, New Campaign Chair, Defines the Future, Columbia University Medical Center Spring 2004 update. Accessed July 8, 2007. "Dr. Vagelos, a Westfield, N.J. native, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania before entering Columbia’s medical school."
  46. ^ Gregory, Deborah. "Malinda Williams", Essence (magazine), June 1999. Accessed June 17, 2007. "The Westfield, New Jersey, native is Mekhi Phifer's tres happy honey."
  47. ^ Anderson, Dave. "The Catch By Woolfolk", The New York Times, December 6, 1982, accessed April 24, 2007."Butch Woolfolk, who moved to nearby Westfield, N.J., as a high school sophomore and began rooting for the Giants, remembers Doug Kotar and Larry Csonka from a few years ago, and Ron Johnson from a decade ago."
  48. ^ Lustig, Jay. "A Lifetime later; How one scruffy N.J. hardcore band influenced a generation of musicians that followed.", The Star-Ledger, February 4, 2007.

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